President Obama sometimes strayed from the facts or made dubious claims during his hour-long evening news conference March 24.
•He said his budget projections are based on economic assumptions that “are perfectly consistent with what Blue Chip forecasters out there are saying.” Not true. The average projection by leading private economists is now for substantially less economic growth than the administration’s forecast assumes.
•He said he is reducing “nondefense discretionary spending” to less than it was under the past four presidents. Not true. His own forecast for the final budget of his four-year term puts this figure higher than in many years under Reagan, Clinton or either Bush.
•He said he was “angry” about “inexcusable” bonuses paid to AIG executives. But he glossed over the fact that his own aides insisted on watering down a Senate-passed amendment that might have prevented payment of such bonuses.
•He repeated that his budget is projected to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his term. That’s true, but deficits also are projected to shoot up again later unless big policy changes are made.
One of the most dramatic claims came not from Obama but from a reporter who asked about children “who are sleeping under bridges and in tents across the country” and who said 1 child in 50 is “homeless.” The truth is far less dramatic. The study he cited doesn’t just count children with no roof over their heads. It also includes those whose families are staying with friends or family members, in hotels and motels, in trailer parks or in housing deemed to be “substandard.”
Monday, March 30, 2009
Obama's Dubious Claims at His Press Conference
FactChecker.org had this observation concerning President Barack Obama's recent White House news conference: